Patently Apple is reporting that the European Patent & Trademark Office has released papers according to which Apple has obtained a “Lightning” trademark from Harley-Davidson, the motorcycle company.
Lightning is a new docking standard at Apple introduced with the iPhone 5 and then perpetuated with the all-new iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad. It’s the successor to Apple’s 30-pin dock connector found on the iPhone 4, iPod classic, and other iDevices pre-dating the iPhone 5.
Apple actually filed two trademark applications for "Lightning" under the numbers 011399821/862, while Harley-Davidson will continue to own the name through 2013.
The site investigating Apple patents and inventions notes that the papers suggest the transfer may have officially occurred as recently as November 24, 2012 (yesterday), which is also the date that it appeared in the EU's public trademark database, according to the report.